Motion Control/​Automation

Explore the latest developments in motion control and automation. Discover innovative advances from NASA and major research labs in robotics, autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, PID controller applications, motor drives and power transmissions.

Briefs : Motion Control
Using Harmonics to Control Flutter in Wings with Electrical Motors

As aeronautics engineers develop innovative distributed electric propulsion systems, they face new challenges in ensuring that these innovative aircraft are safe as well as fuel efficient. In particular, these systems involve a large number of electrically driven fan motors...

Briefs : Propulsion
Micropulse Detonation Rocket Engine for Nano-Satellite Propulsion

An efficient propulsion system would use a micropulse detonation rocket engine (–PDRE) for nano-satellite maneuverability in space. Technical objectives are to design, build, and conduct a small detonation tube experiment in order to explore the feasibility of using –PDRE for...

Briefs : Aerospace
Experimental Testbed for 1-MW Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion Aircraft

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center are developing a concept aircraft for testing turbo-electric distributed propulsion (TeDP) experiments. TeDP generally involves providing thrust to an aircraft via wing-mounted ducted electric fans, which consist...

Briefs : Propulsion
Propellant Loading Visualization Software

Complex pressure systems are utilized during testing in the propulsion branch as well as during the propellant loading stage of a mission. Keeping track of the state of such a system becomes more difficult as the complexity of such a system increases, and when extensive procedures are being followed. A...

Articles : Motion Control
Google Glass for Industrial Automation

A new concept uses Google Glass for operating machinery, with all of the benefits delivered by wearable computing in an industrial environment. With Google’s Web-enabled glasses, status or dialog messages can be projected via a head-up display directly into a person’s field of vision. Online information...

Articles : Motion Control
Energy Efficiency in Machine Tools

Discussions of the efficient use of energy have become more frequent in many sectors of industry. Machine tools comprise numerous motors and auxiliary components whose energy consumption can vary strongly during machining. The main spindle drive, for example, and the coolant system work near their rated power...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robust Gimbal System for Small-Payload Manipulation

Spaceborne gimbal systems are typically bulky with large footprints. Such a gimbal system may consist of a forked elevation stage rotating on top of the azimuth motor, and occupy a large volume. Mounting flexibility of such a system may be limited.

Articles : Motion Control
A Phase-Changing Pendulum to Control Spherical Robots and Buoy Sensors

A novel mechanical control system has been proposed for spherical robots to be used as multifunctioning sensor buoys in areas with ambient forces such as winds or currents. The phase-changing pendulum has been specifically designed for Moballs, a self-powered and controllable...

Articles : Motion Control
Linear Position Sensors

H. G. Schaevitz Alliance Sensors Group (Moorestown, NJ) introduced the LR-19 series inductive linear position sensors. The contactless devices are designed for factory automation and a variety of industrial or commercial applications such as motor sport vehicles, automotive testing, solar cell positioners, wind turbine...

Products : Motion Control
Stepper Motor

Lin Engineering (Morgan Hill, CA) released the Xtreme Torque E5618 stepper motor that has been designed to reduce stalling, skipped steps, and provide efficient torque. The new design allows users to stay within the same frame size. The NEMA 23 stepper has a holding torque of 150 oz-in and is suited for applications with heavier...

Articles : Motion Control
Motor Driver ICs

Toshiba America Electronic Components (San Jose, CA) offers four motor driver ICs, ranging from precision stepper motor drivers to sensorless brushless DC motor drivers. The TB67S269FTG bipolar stepping motor driver has a maximum rating of 50V and 2.0A. Three brushless DC motor drivers — the TB67B001FTG, TB67B008FTG, and...

Articles : Motion Control
Encoders

CUI (Tualatin, OR) offers the AMT31 modular encoder series that generates standard U/V/W commutation signals for vectoring current to brushless motors. Positional information is generated using a patented capacitive code generation system coupled with a proprietary ASIC. The encoder is designed for use in brushless dc motor applications...

Products : Motion Control
AC Drive

The VACON® 100 FLOW from VACON (Milwaukee, WI) is an AC drive designed to improve flow control for multi-pump applications in which several pumps are used in place of a single one. The drive offers control of flow and pressure for a maximum of eight pumps (or fans) without the need for an external controller —...

Articles : Motion Control
Table Motors

Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) offers the Simotics DP motors based on the 1LE1 motor platform. The ventilated roller table motors are designed for applications in the steel industry where they must meet requirements for vibration and shock according to Class 3M4. Versions of the motors are optimized for use with converters of the...

Products : Motion Control
Motion Controller

FANUC America Corp. (Rochester Hills, MI) offers the Power Motion i-MODEL A motion controller for multi-axes general motion applications. The controller is an integrated solution supporting up to 32 axes of motion control, combined with high-speed programmable logic controllers supporting up to 2,048 input and 2,048 output...

Articles : Motion Control
Linear Actuators

Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Irwin, PA) released the High Moment Rodless (HMR) electromechanical linear actuator series that features five different frame sizes, two different drive train options, an IP54 protective cover option, and multiple motor mounting, carriage, and sensor options. The actuators...

Articles : Motion Control
Rod-Style Actuator

The RSA-HT high-force rod-style actuator from Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) can also be considered as a replacement for hydraulic applications and offers maximum force capabilities of 12,900 lbf (57.38kN). Features include an IP67 option, standard purge/breather port, and a lubrication system. The actuator includes a grease zerk for...

Products : Motion Control
Controller Systems

Velmex (Bloomfield, NY) offers VXM controller systems for power systems that drive motorized products including slides and rotary tables. The controller is a 2-phase, unipolar stepper motor controller that can drive and control precise movements, multi-axis, and velocity. The system is capable of controlling up to four motors,...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless DC Motor and Control

Groschopp (Sioux Center, IA) offers a brushless DC motor and control package consisting of brushless DC motors and gearmotors. The motors feature closed loop controls to deliver commutated power and variable speed control, maintaining speed regulation over a wide range of loads. The motors feature 2,600 to 3,800...

News : Electronics & Computers
Aircraft with Hybrid Engine Can Recharge in Flight

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested the first aircraft to be powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, where an electric motor and gas engine work together to drive the propeller. The demonstrator aircraft uses up to...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
NASA Robot Explores Volcanoes

Carolyn Parcheta, a NASA postdoctoral fellow based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and JPL robotics researcher Aaron Parness are developing robots that
can explore volcanic fissures.

"We don't know exactly how volcanoes erupt. We have models but they are all very, very...

Articles : Aerospace
Computation of Wing Deflection and Slope from Measured Strain

A lightweight, robust fiber-optic system is the technology behind a new method to compute wing deflection and slope from measured strain of an aircraft. This state-of-the-art sensor system is small, easy to install, and fast, and offers the first-ever means of obtaining real-time...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Tiny Camera Lets NASA Inspection Tool “See”
micro ScoutCam 1.2 micro camera
Medigus, Ltd.
Omer, Israel
011 972 8646 6880
www.medigus.com

NASA has incorporated the micro ScoutCam 1.2 into its Visual Inspection Poseable Invertebrate Robot (VIPIR) tool. VIPIR is a robotic, maneuverable, borescope inspection tool...

News : Transportation
Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions
Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions

Researchers have developed a new two-stroke engine notable for its low consumption and low level of pollutant emissions. The engine is the result of Powerful, a European project...

Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions
News : Photonics/Optics
NASA Advances Next-Generation 3D-Imaging Lidar

Building, fixing, and refueling space-based assets or rendezvousing with a comet or asteroid will require a robotic vehicle and a super-precise, high-resolution 3D imaging lidar that will generate real-time images needed to guide the vehicle to a target traveling at thousands of miles per hour. A...

News : Imaging
Moving Cameras “Talk” to Identify and Track Pedestrians
Moving Cameras “Talk” to Identify and Track Pedestrians

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked...

Moving Cameras “Talk” to Identify and Track Pedestrians
Articles : Motion Control
Specifying Actuators for Cleanroom Environments

Selecting the right actuator for use in any manufacturing operation involves a host of application-specific variables, including aspects such as the required stroke length, load capacity, acceleration, maximum speed, and positioning repeatability. Add a cleanroom specification to the list and the...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Naval Shipyard Automates Dry Dock Operation

Pearl Harbor Naval Station and Hickam Air Force Base have grown up together around the historic port known as Wai’Momi, adjacent to Honolulu. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY), located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, is a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and...

Products : Motion Control
Robotic Arm

Global Specialties (Yorba Linda, CA) introduced the R700 Vector Robotic Arm that is fully assembled and ready to be programmed in the C language. The robot comes with pre-written example programs that can be downloaded to the ATMEGA64 microcontroller using the supplied USB interface and RobotLoader software. Custom programs can be...

Products : Motion Control
Optical Encoders

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) announced the AEDR-87xx series of 3-channel reflective optical encoder devices for use in low-power miniaturized motion control systems such as stepper motors, electrical actuators, piezoelectric drives, and portable medical appliances. The devices feature encoding resolution up to 318 lines per...